News and notes as the Capitals enjoy a day off following Tuesday night’s 2-1 overtime win over the Carolina Hurricanes and await Friday night’s home game against the Nashville Predators:
Fast to 50: With their win on Tuesday night the Capitals became the sixth team in NHL history to win its 50th game by its 69th game of the season. Here are the others:
1995-96 Red Wings (Game No. 66) No Stanley Cup
1970-71 Bruins (Game No. 67) No Stanley Cup
1976-77 Canadiens (Game No. 67) Won Stanley Cup
1977-78 Canadiens (Game No. 68) Won Stanley Cup
1975-76 Canadiens (Game No. 69) Won Stanley Cup
2015-16 Capitals (Game No. 69) ?????????
Quick clinchers: The Caps became the first NHL team to clinch a playoff berth this season, but they actually clinched faster back in 2009-10 when they clinched in their 67th game. That team had 101 points through 69 games. This team has 105 points.
Bounce backers: The Capitals remain the only team in the NHL without two consecutive regulation losses this season. The Caps are 13-0-1 following a regulation loss this season and have outscored opponents 49-24 in those games.
Fast starters?: After allowing the first goal in 13 of their previous 15 games the Capitals got on the board first against the Hurricanes and improved to 30-2-0 this season when scoring first.
Home dominance: The Capitals are 21-3-1 in their last 25 games at Verizon Center and have outscored their opponents 87-54 during that span.
Holtby’s record: In addition to setting the franchise record for wins in a season with his 41st victory, Caps netminder Braden Holtby is now the 13th goaltender in NHL history to post multiple 40-win seasons and is the seventh goaltender in NHL history to record consecutive 40-win seasons. Marty Brodeur owns the NHL record with eight seasons of 40-plus wins.
Ovi in OT: As you might imagine, Alex Ovechkin has the most overtime goals (17) in franchise history and leads the NHL in overtime goals since 2005-06. With 42 goals in 67 games, Ovechkin is on pace for 50 goals and 25 assists this season. Patrick Kane is his closest rival in goals with 38.
Russian flair: With his overtime assist on Ovechkin’s goal Evgeny Kuznetsov picked up his 50th assist of the season, making him the first Capital since Ovechkin in 2010-11 (32 goals, 53 assists) to record at least 20 goals and 50 assists in a season. Kuznetsov has 33 points in his last 28 games (7 goals, 26 assists). To put that in perspective Kuznetsov had 37 points in 80 games last season.
Willy’s not chilly: Justin Williams’ second-period goal extended his point streak to four games (2 goals, 2 assists). It also puts him pace for 25 goals, 32 assists and 57 points, his highest total since 2011-12 when he notched 59 points with the Kings.